Year of release: 2019
Released by: Season of Mist
Rating: 6,9 / 10
Alas, but on their second album, WINDSWEPT decided to ignore the beginnings of the “Visionaire” EP and focused on material of the same kind as on the debut. It's up to them, but it upsets me. “Visionaire” was a masterpiece of hypnotic transcendentalism in the iron frame - the very one that once gave rise to modern “atmospheric metal” as such, and now 90% of the genre groups are completely cleaned out of this type of sounding. And WINDSWEPT full-lengths... this is the same current DRUDKH, only more raw and simple. Sure, it's great, but a bit boring. All new things from both bands are almost the same. I can easily distinguish some song from "Estrangement" and a song from “The Swan Road”, but it’s hard to differentiate the works of 2015-2018 period. And if on the last DRUDKH album, the situation was saved by a killer mix of lyrics and music, then on “The Onlooker” everything seems far-fetched. Tell me, how can five minutes of almost continuous blast beats be associated with Gustav Meyrink's Prague? This whirling music weakly fits in with mysticism, intellectuality, dreaminess and other “book” matters, about which the album narrates. On the first album, everything was balanced; he cold steppe beneath the stars, where ruthless winds blow - the personification of WINDSWEPT, performing its melancholic, irrepressible and atmospheric metal.
It should be added that the compositions in general are not the most successful. Some riffs are gold, others turned out to be very sluggish and non-ingenious. The whole song “Insomnia of the Old Men” consists entirely of the latter. In general, the album leaves a positive impression, but at the moment for me this is the weakest work from the Kharkov camp.